Saturday, December 08, 2018

The Chancellor and the Citadel

Frantz, Maria Capelle. The Chancellor and the Citadel
December 4th 2018 by Iron Circus Comics
ARC provided by Letter Better Publishing Services

Olive and the Chancellor live in a dystopian, Medieval type world where danger lurks around every corner. The shadowy, masked and hooded Chancellor keeps everyone safe by securing the Citadel, but when it is breached by humans, others start to doubt her. Olive remains steadfast, even when the Chancellor brings an injured human boy into their inner sanctum and the resident healer wants Olive's help in healing him. WHen the community finds out about the boy, they are angry and threaten the Chancellor, who tries to show them that "there are no bad guys". A commander, Eve, demands to know who the Chancellor is, and to see her unmasked face, but is refused. Angered, she slays the Chancellor. However, the Chancellor comes back, Eve is exiled, and a fragile peace returns to the Citadel.
Strengths: This gets points for its attempt (mentioned in the letter sent with the ARC) for pointing out that everyone needs to be understood, and society should not wall itself off and think of people as "others". The artwork is quite pleasing, and the picture-to-text ratio is a good one for middle grade readers.
Weaknesses: Overwhelmingly sad. There is a lot of agonizing angst, and the graphic novel format does not provide the amount of background information that would make this story easier to understand.
What I really think: This is not a great fit for my students. Those who like graphic novels prefer ones like Babymouse and those by Raina Telgemeier, and higher quality, more philosophical tomes like Nimona or Estranged are not their cup of tea. I will pass on purchase, but can see this being popular in high school libraries where manga are popular.

No comments:

Post a Comment